LAS VEGAS – With 44,000 attendees at this year’s International Council of Shopping Centers spring conference Monday, there were more than a few juicy tidbits and opinions floating the halls of the Las Vegas convention center.
A few highlights:
–Nordstrom has contacted a powerhouse New York City retail brokerage firm to look at sites in Manhattan.
– Vornado is believed to have made a bid on Lord & Taylor, but “all of these big developers are bidding on that portfolio,” says an investment banker. As reported, Lord & Taylor sent out 40 memorandums, or fact sheets, detailing the operation to prospective bidders. Opinions on what will happen to Lord & Taylor are varied. John Bucksbaum of General Growth Properties Inc. warns that what happens with the portfolio will “depend on whose hands its in,” and that the department store industry “shouldn’t rule out that someone could make the store very competitive,” while William Susman, chief operating officer of investment bank Financo Inc., thinks the brand needs a serious overhaul before it becomes a major player in the market. Meanwhile, developers such as Peter Lowy, of Westfield Group, are eager to buy back Lord & Taylor stores and either raze or revamp them into new lifestyle components and bring in new retailers.
– H&M’s smaller prototypes are being rolled out to more store locations in Las Vegas and Southern California as the retailer continues to expand into new formats, including malls.
– The Taubman Co.’s protracted development deal in Salt Lake City with the Church of Latter Day Saints may finally see the light of day. Bill Taubman says news of the proceedings of the urban mixed-use project, which will reshape all of Salt Lake City, will be aired within the next six months after several years of negotiations. Taubman says it one of the most complex deals the developer has ever worked on.
– The Westfield Group’s Lowy will head to New York City in the next several weeks to begin negotiations with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the retail space at the World Trade Center. The Westfield Group, according to a deal in place before the towers fell, retains the first right of refusal on any retail development at the trade center.
– Forever 21’s new store in Pasadena, Calif., which occupies a former Saks Fifth Avenue space, is said to debut the retailer’s department store concept and will house items such as shoes, accessories, and men’s and children’s fashions, as well as a restaurant.
Stay tuned for more web exclusive live updates from the ICSC in Las Vegas.